Job Fair Prep

Officials with Georgia Piedmont Technical College, development authorities in Newton and Walton counties, and the Newton County Chamber of Commerce gather at the college's Newton campus Friday, June 25, 2021, to discuss the Regional Job Fair planned for July 22 in Covington.

COVINGTON, Ga. — Organizers gathered recently to prepare for the first in-person Regional Job Fair in two years at Georgia Piedmont Technical College.

Representatives of business and educational communities in two counties gathered June 25 to discuss the 2021 Regional Job Fair scheduled for July 22 at GPTC’s Newton campus conference center on Bob Williams Parkway in Covington.

The event is set to feature at least 60 local employers from Newton and Walton counties in the fields of manufacturing, logistics, film, entertainment, public safety, local government, bio-pharma, high technology, distribution and education.

Irvin Clark, vice president of economic development for GPTC, said many employers are showing a “high demand” for workers amid the rebounding economy and shortage of potential employees.

GPTC President Tavarez Holston agreed.

“If I’m a job-seeker, there’s never been a better time than now,” Holston said.

Georgia Piedmont is working with the Newton County Industrial Development Authority, Newton County Chamber of Commerce and the Development Authority of Walton County to present the event.

Companies ranging from Walmart’s distribution center to Bridgestone Golf, Hitachi and more will participate, organizers said.

The annual job fair routinely drew hundreds of jobseekers to the Covington technical college campus in its first three years. About 100 employers participated in the 2019 job fair.

However, organizers converted the 2020 fair to an all-virtual event in response to health concerns around the COVID-19 pandemic and still drew more than 40 employers from throughout the region.

Serra Hall of the Newton County IDA said the event’s “brand” is now well-known throughout the region.

“This is the right place to get a career,” she said.

She said the IDA is ready to collaborate with the college for the fair again.

“We’re looking forward to it,” she said.

The event also will include on-site application and resume assistance.

Pre-job fair workshops on updating resumes, hard-to-employ workers, job fair preparation, transferable skills and more will be provided July 13-14 by Workforce Northeast Georgia.

Registration deadline is July 12 for the workshops and can be done online at https://bit.ly/3qkgqol.

Clark said the workshops will help job seekers learn about the “soft skills” they may need to successfully interview, such as communication, teamwork and work ethic.

It also will help those who may not be ready to employment learn what they need to do to prepare, he said.

Goodwill of North Georgia will provide free suit jackets to those needing them for interviews, organizers said.

Dessa Morris, workforce development director for the Development Authority of Walton County, said the jackets proved popular in the past and allowed those receiving them to learn about what else they needed to provide potential employers.

“They received a blazer and a pep talk,” Morris said.

Newton County Chamber President Debbie Harper said the business advocacy organization will also provide listings of job opportunities with small businesses throughout the county.

Jana Wiggins, executive director of marketing and communication, said the job fair also allows the college to showcase the wide variety of skills jobseekers could receive at GPTC — which operates campuses in Covington, Clarkston and Decatur and has a planned campus in Conyers.

Holston noted GPTC graduates have a 99% placement rate in jobs in their chosen fields. It also focuses on students stepping into apprenticeships from which they can move into full-time work after graduation.

The college also recently announced approval of state funding for construction of a new $5.77 million facility that will house GPTC’s regional transportation and logistics training center on Marbut Road in Lithonia.

The 2021 Regional Job Fair is scheduled for July 22 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the college's Newton campus Building D located off City Pond Road at 8100 Bob Williams Parkway in Covington.

For more information, visit https://www.gptc.edu/regional-job-fair/.

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